Interview: Nightwing cosplayer Masked Mateo

Nightwing/Dick Grayson is one of fans’ favorite comic book characters.

Whether it’s the slick suit, the wittiness and mischievous attitude, or the acrobatic stunts, fans have all kinds of reasons why they love him. About 9 months ago I interviewed DC Titans’ Nightwing/Dick Grayson, Brenton Thwaites. I’ll link the YouTube video below!

Brenton Thwaites/Matt Sheehan Interview

I interviewed “Masked Mateo,” a Nightwing/Dick Grayson cosplayer who told me all about his journey into cosplay and why he loves the character! I was very impressed with Mateo’s cosplay that I saw on social media. Comic Book Resources even did an article on him, saying it looked just like the upcoming video game “Gotham Knights.” After seeing the photos I’ll share in the article, I think you’ll agree! Hope you all enjoy our interview below.

Credit: Ryan Simms
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Sheehan: What made you want to begin cosplay? 

Masked Mateo: “To be honest, I woke up one day and decided to do it. I thought the concept of portraying my favorite character(s) and seeing what they could be in the real world would be awesome. I wanted to give a better experience for the other fans out there, not just at comic conventions but on social media. The idea of bringing a character(s) that others wanted to see come to life inspired me as well. Best part is seeing other fans’ faces light up when they see their comic hero walk up and interact with them.”

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Sheehan: Why Nightwing? What about the character draws you to him? 

Credit: Jeff Jenkins Photography

Masked Mateo: “Nightwing aka Dick Grayson, has always been my favorite DC Comics hero. Growing up my older brother and I would pretend we were Batman and Robin fighting crime in the backyard. As I got older and dove into the comics even more, I followed the journey of my favorite hero. Depending on which comic run you follow, Dick Grayson (Robin) eventually leaves Batman’s so that he could become his own hero and find out what that meant to him. He moved out of Gotham City and into Bludhaven, where he faced his own trial and tribulations, this without Batman to help. He took the new name/mantle/costume of Nightwing. Over time, Nightwing’s charismatic personality and witty quips made me like him even more. He faces danger and his enemies with a smirk. I enjoy the fact that he constantly goes through the worst of it with his day-to-day challenges as Dick Grayson, as well as his crime fighting vigilante challenges as Nightwing and yet, always looks on the brighter side of things. He’s very adept in martial arts, acrobatic combat, and has genius level intellect to top it off. What makes all of this really stand out more, is that he is still a man behind a mask. He is a great leader and always shows compassion to others. I resonated with him because, as much as I love my big brother, I eventually wanted to see what I was capable of when I made my own decision based on what I felt and not because I wanted to copy or feel like a sidekick to my brother. Fast forward to today and seeing Nightwing and Batman team ups is awesome. It shows that they can be cohesive when working together while being their own individuals. The latest run by Tom Taylor of Nightwing, is by far my favorite ever. I cannot recommend it enough.”

Sheehan: What are your top 3 comic book characters to cosplay?

Masked Mateo: “My top 3 comic book characters to cosplay would have to be Nightwing/Dick Grayson, Cyclops/Scott Summers and Moon Knight/Marc Spector.”

Credit: Ghosts_Shoots
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Sheehan: Let’s talk about future Nightwing projects coming up. On TV, we’ve got Titans. Video games, we’ve got Gotham Knights. Are you a fan of Titans and the Nightwing adaptation? What do you think about what we’ve seen so far about GK’s Nightwing? 

Masked Mateo: “Lets! I am definitely a fan of Titans! The costumes for the characters are incredible. Laura Jean Shannon absolutely nails these suit designs for each character. We finally have live adaptations of the Teen Titans. How cool is that? Honestly, the Nightwing suit is so unique. Took a second for it to grow on me since it was revealed on a live feed first but then after I saw it on the show, I loved it. Definitely an awesome suit and I loved the character development behind it to lead Dick Grayson (Brenton Thwaites) and I thought about cosplaying that same version but I went a different route just to be different.”

“Gotham Knights: I can not tell you how excited I am for this game! I’ve been a fan since the announcement a few years ago and the first trailer we received on DCFandome. From what we’ve seen so far, I think we’ve barely scratched the surface on it. From the customization of suits, to fighting style of each character and the co-op play and the lore that’s coming with it….I have 1000% faith that this will be an amazing game. I’ve gained recognition from DC Comics, Gotham Knights and WB Games in a lot of my Nightwing content that was inspired from the game itself. I am just waiting to reveal my next Nightwing suit from the Gotham Knights game so that I can share with everyone to bring Dick Grayson to life again.”

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Sheehan: Is playing Nightwing in a show, movie, game a dream of yours? 

Masked Mateo: “Absolutely! Given the opportunity, I would take it within a millisecond. I try to portray the character in all aspects as much as I can. I train in the gym constantly and volunteer in the community and although I am not a police officer as he once was, I am a firefighter so that’s got to be just as great. I love watching movies and shows/series, I would easily rise to the opportunity of a casting call.  To be Nightwing in a video game would be incredible. I’m a gamer and being able to see myself in a video game would be so surreal.”

Sheehan: Do you hope we eventually get a Nightwing movie or series? 

Credit: Amy K Photography

Masked Mateo: “As fans, we are owed a movie. haha. I would be happy with either as long as the writing and direction for both were done correctly. Nightwing is an A lister hero, now more than ever thanks to Tom Taylor (current writer for Nightwing). It’s time for people to start giving him his flowers.”

Sheehan: What tips do you have for those wanting to get into cosplay on how to put together the best costume? 

Masked Mateo: “I held a panel discussing this at FanExpo Boston this past weekend and I’ll gladly stand by what I say. Cosplay is subjective. There is no right or wrong way to do it. You just have to do it. Create your own character, build a prop using items around the house. Some of the best cosplay that I have seen, have come from people using what they have around them at the time. A great place to start is drawing on a piece of paper of either a character you love or your very own. As I said before, there is no right or wrong way to do it. That’s the beauty of it. But if there is still an interest in purchasing fabric or looking for props, creating props/suits/costumes, head over to my page and I always recommend other creators as well as prop and suit makers for people who are new to it.”

You can find Masked Mateo on social media! Linking his Twitter & Instagram below.

Twitter: masked_mateo

Instagram: @masked_mateo

Published by mattsheehanofficial

Matt Sheehan is a journalist based in Illinois. He grew up in St. Louis and went to college at Missouri State University. He's the host of On the Record, and secures exclusive interviews with celebrities for his TV morning show.

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